The Blackhope Enigma
This gripping adventure story will have you turning the page for the next twist in this fantastic tale. Teresa Flavin explains at the end of the book how she came upon the idea and about her interest in Renaissance painting and magic. This is her first novel; she is a trained artist with paintings exhibited all over the world. In 1993 she began to illustrate picture books and then to illustrate her own stories. Originally from Boston, she moved to Glasgow in 1995 where she has her own artists’ studio.
Just about in the category of time-slip story, The Blackhope Enigma has three modern-day children finding the secret entrance into a Renaissance painting, The Merchant’s Return to Arcadia. They are preparing a school assignment on the artist, Fausto Corvo (the Raven), and have visited the painting’s home, The Blackhope Tower, to get inspiration. Various strange legends about the room in which it hangs are explained when the youngest boy accidentally discovers the password of the labyrinth on the floor of the room.
Combing ancient and Renaissance beliefs about the earth and its place in the solar system with celestial magic, the author entices the reader into the story. Descriptions of 16th-century artists’ methods combining with possible rides in a 19th-century theme park keep the reader engrossed! Aimed at 9-14 year olds.